"Keep Ya Head Up", Hollywood! Movies about a famous musician's life are not a new thing in Hollywood. Over the years, we've seen movies like Ray, Walk The Line, and La Vie En Rose win Oscars and gross millions and millions of dollars around the world. Now, after the success of Straight Outta Compton (a biopic about the gangsta rap group N.W.A.), Hollywood is turning to hip-hop for inspiration.
The biopic about the life and death of Tupac Shakur as been long in development; most recently, director Carl Franklin quietly left the project after production company Morgan Creek decided to go in a new direction. Franklin exited the movie, after director John Singleton walked out after creative differences with producers. It would make sense that John Singleton would want to direct the biopic, as Shakur co-starred with Janet Jackson in one of his early films, Poetic Justice in 1993.
Now it looks like the Tupac biopic might have found a new director to helm the struggling production, as THR is reporting that Benny Boom is in negotiations to take over for Franklin. It's unclear when the biopic will go into production, but if it doesn't start by the end of the year, the music rights for Tupac Shakur's songs will revert back to his mother, Afeni Shakur.
The Tupac movie biopic has been in development hell for years, with producers Randall Emmett and George Furla having sued Morgan Creek for $10 million in October. They are claiming breach-of-contract after the production company allegedly picked a lead, set a budget, and production schedule without Emmett/Furla's approval. Morgan Creek also sued Afeni Shakur for the music rights for the film.
If you're not familiar with his work, Boom directed the action comedy Next Day Air in 2009 and 2011's S.W.A.T.: Firefight, the straight-to-video sequel to S.W.A.T. (the latter of which stars Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, and Jeremy Renner) from 2003. Benny Boom is most known as a music video director, having worked with Nicki Minaj, Lil' Wayne, and Meek Mill. He was also a BET Award for Video Director of the Year in 2009.
After the success of Straight Outta Compton this past summer, it's no surprise that more and more movies studios are looking to step up their rap game. Snoop Dogg and the entire Dogg Pound crew are interested in making their own biopic that would be in the same vein as Straight Outta Compton, but nothing official has been announced. Back in 2009, Fox Searchlight Pictures made a biopic about rapper Notorious B.I.G. called Notorious that saw moderate box office success. Anthony Mackie played Tupac Shakur in Notorious, while newcomer Marcc Rose played the rapper in Straight Outta Compton.
There is no official release date for the new Tupac Shakur Biopic, but stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest news about the movie as it develops.